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Two years after making an in-name-only cameo in the trial over California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez is preparing to play a new role in the legal saga surrounding Proposition 8.

The Los Angeles Democrat announced today that he will participate next month in a reading of "8," a play about Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the challenge of the 2008 constitutional amendment now heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. He'll share the stage at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre with award-winning actors Dustin Lance Black and Holland Taylor.

Pérez will play Stanford Professor Gary Segura, who made the case during the 2010 court proceedings that gays and lesbians are underrepresented and targeted in the political process. As part of the cross-examination by Proposition 8 attorneys, Segura was pressed on whether Pérez's own role as the first openly gay Assembly speaker undercut his argument.

In a statement, Pérez praised the reading as an "opportunity to help tell a powerful story of a victory celebrated by LGBT People, and people of conscience all over the country."

"As someone whose own rights were taken away by Proposition 8, and Proposition 22 before it, I am deeply honored to be participating in a production that brilliantly and vividly captures the critical moments of the trial that led to Judge Vaughn Walker's groundbreaking ruling," he said of the federal judge's finding that the ban is unconstitutional.

Proceeds from the Oct. 7 performance will go to American Foundation for Equal Rights, which supports the legal case against the ban.


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